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Tube Feeding Tips: Dissolving Medications
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Educating Your Pharmacist

When I started tube feeding, my wife crushed all my pills, one at a time, with a mortar and pestle. Gradually, I became well enough to do it myself. I tried pill crushers, but felt the mortar and pestle were better. At an Oley conference, a pharmacist suggested dissolving my pills would be easier than crushing them, although it might take a little longer. I began dissolving my pills and discovered uncoated pills dissolved faster than coated ones. (And, yes, it was easier than crushing them.) I also learned that some pills could be dissolved together, so that I did not have to draw up separate solutions in my syringe and do separate infusions. (Note: Be sure to check with your pharmacist or physician before combining any medications as they may interact and/or clog your tube.)

Prevacid tablets were the toughest. They took a long time to dissolve. I asked my pharmacist if they came in any other form that would dissolve more easily. He gave me another kind, but the label clearly said, “not for enteral use,” so I took them back and asked him to try again. He said there wasn’t anything else.

So I did my own research. I found Prevacid Solutabs — delayed release orally disintegrating tablets. The label says, “...can be delivered via oral syringe.” When I showed the label to my pharmacist, he said he thought they were only used to dissolve on the tongue and then swallowed. Because I cannot swallow, he did not think I could use them.

Because most pharmacists don’t deal on a day-to-day basis with individuals who have feeding tubes and are on enteral nutrition, this became a learning experience for both of us. My research and advocating for myself helped me find the form of Prevacid that was exactly what I needed. My pharmacist learned more about my special needs, as well as about a form of the medication that could be used in a way he hadn’t even considered.

Now, taking my meds is relatively easy. I do it twice a day — first thing after waking up in the morning and last thing at night before I go to bed. In the morning, I use four Nalgene water bottles. I shake, shake, shake the various medications and my coffee, each in their own bottle. (Note: Nalgene water bottles can be found at sporting goods stores, Target and other retailers.)

I think it takes less time to actually do my medications than it took for me to type out this story for you on my laptop. A feeding tube should not get in the way of staying well medicated!

—Rick Davis
375 Ninth Ave.
Salt Lake City, UT 84103-2819
Phone: (801) 232-8787 or (801) 521-6070
rickdavis320@comcast.net

more Calendar

2/6/2017 » 2/10/2017
Feeding Tube Awareness Week

2/18/2017 » 2/21/2017
Oley exhibit at A.S.P.E.N.'s Clinical Nutrition Week

5/6/2017
Oley Regional Conference

This website is an educational resource. It is not intended to provide medical advice or recommend a course of treatment. You should discuss all issues, ideas, suggestions, etc. with your clinician prior to use. Clinicians in a relevant field have reviewed the medical information; however, the Oley Foundation does not guarantee the accuracy of the information presented, and is not liable if information is incorrect or incomplete. If you have questions please contact Oley staff.

 

Updated in 2015 with a generous grant from Shire, Inc. 

 

This website was updated in 2015 with a generous grant from Shire, Inc. This website is an educational resource. It is not intended to provide medical advice or recommend a course of treatment. You should discuss all issues, ideas, suggestions, etc. with your clinician prior to use. Clinicians in a relevant field have reviewed the medical information; however, the Oley Foundation does not guarantee the accuracy of the information presented, and is not liable if information is incorrect or incomplete. If you have questions please contact Oley staff.
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